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Sunday, 14 April 2013


Ancient Egyptian noblewomen went topless. They wore tunics that wrapped below their breasts and were held up by a center strap.

The Romans invented the push-up bra, but instead of using whalebone for support, they probably used leather. 

Bras were called "breast bags" in medieval times.

Determined to slip into something more comfortable than an ungainly and painful whalebone corset, 19-year-old New York socialite Mary "Polly" Jacob used two silk handkerchiefs and some pink ribbon to create the worlds first bra in 1910.

Polly filed for a patent for her invention in early 1914 and on November 3 of that year the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted her a patent for the "Backless Brassiere."

Jacob's brassiere, from the original patent application.

The world's first bra was designed to be worn above a woman's corset.

Jacob later sold her business for $1,500 to Warner Brothers Corset Company, who made $15m from her uplifting invention. 

Mark Twain (yes, that Mark Twain) invented and patented the bra-strap clasp.

In 1928, a Russian immigrant to America named Ida Rosenthal founded Maidenform. Ida was responsible for grouping women into bust-size categories (cup sizes). 

The A-to-D cup-sizing system for brassieres was introduced by the Warner Corset Company in 1935. It is  now universally used by manufacturers.

In 1964 Montreal's Canadelle company invented the push-up bra.

In 1999, two women were burnt down by a lightning strike when the underwire in their bras worked as an electrical conductors.

The average bra size in 2015 is 36C. In 2005 it was 34B.

Apparently, according to Playtex, the best selling bra sizes these days are 34B and 36B.

The average bra is designed to last for only 180 days of use.

There are an estimated 156 million bras in UK that have been bought and never worn.

85% of women wear the wrong bra size.

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